Big Oil hits record $221 billion profit, Biden says 'it's outrageous'

Big Oil hits record $221 billion profit, Biden says ‘it’s outrageous’

  • Oil majors have posted record profits for 2022, taking advantage of the energy market turmoil triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • US President Joe Biden thinks it’s “outrageous”, saying companies have invested too little of those profits to increase production.
  • Exxon Mobil, Shell and TotalEnergies earned the most profits among Western companies.

The West’s biggest oil companies saw their combined profits soar to $221 billion last year, with the latest earnings reports capturing many firsts in corporate history.

“Did you notice Big Oil just reported earnings? Record earnings,” U.S. President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address on Tuesday. “Last year they made $200 billion in the midst of a global energy crisis. I think that’s outrageous,” he said, referring to the top five companies.

Biden criticized the oil majors for using their record profits “to buy back their own stock, rewarding their CEOs and shareholders” instead of investing enough of the earnings to cap gas prices by increasing production to meet growing demand.

Global energy prices surged after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, hitting multi-year highs in March, then falling in subsequent quarters to pre-war levels in recent weeks. . Soaring energy prices last year, combined with deep cost cuts implemented during the pandemic, helped propel oil giants’ profits to all-time highs.

Here is a list of the 2022 annual earnings of the seven American and European names among the world’s 10 largest oil companies, along with some analyst comments:

  1. Exxon Mobil led the pack with $55.7 billion in profits for 2022, setting a record for the company and the western oil industry as a whole. The oil giant’s chief financial officer, Kathryn Mike, said Reuters that the significantly high profits “really came from a combination of strong markets, high throughput, strong production and very good cost control”.
  2. Shell raised $39.9 billion, more than double what it booked a year ago and slightly beating analysts’ expectations. This is the biggest annual profit ever made by the British giant, thanks to a strong performance in the fourth quarter of its natural gas business.
  3. TotalEnergies recorded $36.2 billion, a double increase from the previous year. CEO Patrick Pouyanne said wednesday that the sanctions against Russia create a “grey oil market” that is no longer unified. Unlike some of its competitors, the French oil major has maintained part of its investments in Russia.
  4. Chevron posted $35.5 billion, more than double the $15.6 billion made in 2021.
  5. British Petroleum recorded a record $27.7 billion, more than double the amount of the previous year. BP is moving away from its renewable energy targets capitalize even more on the profitability of its investments in oil and gas.
  6. Marathon Petroleum Corp. booked $14.5 billion, nearly $5 billion more than the U.S. refiner booked last year. Some analysts say the company’s takeovers create more value for investors by a “wide margin” compared to bigger rivals like Exxon and Chevron which also have sizable programs.
  7. Valero Energy Corp. job $11.5 billion, beating the $930 million he earned a year prior.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company by profit, will announce its results for the year 2022 in March. China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, and PetroChina also made the top 10 list.

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